Sir Alfred Pease, 2nd Baronet
Sir Alfred Edward Pease, 2nd Baronet (29 June 1857 – 27 April 1939), was a British Liberal Party politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1885 and 1902 and who became a pioneer settler of British East Africa, now Kenya.
Alfred Pease was a member of the family of Quaker industrialists, known in Britain as the Darlington Peases. He was the elder son of Joseph W. Pease, 1st Bt and his wife Mary Fox. His younger and only brother, was to later in his own career, accept a peerage and become Joseph Albert Pease, 1st Baron Gainford.
He began his career in the family bank, J. & J. W. Pease, of which he later became both a director and partner. He held similar positions in Pease & Partners, whose subsidiary interests embraced collieries, Ironstone mines, limestone quarries, as well as iron manufacturing, fabrication and construction. In the course of his years, he served as managing director, Vice-Chairman (1907) and chairman (1927) of the Owners of the Middlesbrough Estate.
He served as a J.P. and Alderman for the North Riding of Yorkshire, a Deputy Lieutenant for Cleveland division, as well as being appointed to the Lieutenancy for the City of London He was also a founder and President of the Cleveland Bay Horse Society.
With the failure of the family business interests in 1902, He brought his political career to a close and amidst the wreckage sought out new opportunity, which was to take him to South Africa.
Between 1903 and 1905, he served as a Resident Magistrate at Barberton in what was then the Transvaal Colony, but now Mpumalanga, in South Africa, before moving to the opposite end of the continent, to explore the Sudan, Somaliland, and the northern Sahara. During this time he continued to write of his travels and experiences; a habit that had begun with his "Biskra and Oases of the Zibans" (1893) and followed by "Hunting Reminiscences", (1898). "The Badger", (1898). "Horse Breeding for Farmers", (1902). and "Travels and Sport in Africa", (1902). "Rachel Gurney of the Grove", (1907). "The Diaries of Edward Pease", (1907). "The Book of the Lion", (1914) and "Memoir of Edmund Loder", (1922).
In 1906, he leased more than 6,000 acres (24 km2) of prairie land in the Athi Plains region of British East Africa, southwest of present-day Nairobi. There he founded an ostrich-ranch and hunted the game which was at that time plentiful on Kenya's high plateaus. The Pease property, Kitanga near Machakos was situated close to the Uganda Railway, and this enabled Sir Alfred to host a number of the famous travellers who hunted during the great age of safaris. As a result, he is mentioned in many of the personal accounts of the period.
Theodore Roosevelt, who enjoyed Pease's hospitality in 1909, with his son Kermit, at the start of his world-famous expedition to Africa, described Sir Alfred as 'a singularly good rider and one of the best game shots I have ever seen.'
In 1909 he became one of the founder members of the Shikar Club formed to promote the activity of hunting and shooting Big Game animals. Specimens from Sir Alfred's animal collections can be seen at the Dorman Museum.
Sir Alfred's first cousin was Katherine Routledge, who visited him in Kenya in 1904. Later she and her husband led the Mana expedition to Easter Island from 1913–1915, during time which she carried out the pioneering excavations of the island's legendary monuments, and recorded the surviving oral history of the island's past.
Sir Alfred married three times. His first marriage in 1880, was to his first cousin, Helen Ann Fowler, third child of Sir Robert Fowler, 1st Baronet. The marriage produced two sons and a daughter. His second marriage, in 1912, was to Laure Marianne Sugnet de Montmagny and was childless. His last marriage, in 1922, was to Emily Elizabeth Smith and produced two more sons and two more daughters.
Sir Alfred's second son, Captain Christopher York Pease, was a casualty of the First World War, killed on 9 May 1918 and was buried in the Mazingarbe Communal Cemetery Extension. As might be expected, he was serving in a firmly Yorkshire unit. A cousin of what would become the Daryngton branch, Lt. Ronald Herbert Pike Pease – serving in the Coldstream Guards, the Guards regiment for the North of England, had already been killed in 1916. Captain Pease's unit, the Yorkshire Hussars, had mobilised as Yeomanry cavalry until it became clear there was little scope for horsed units on the Western Front, when it was re-roled as infantry and merged with the remnants of a battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment. The unit was now styled the 9th (Yorkshire Hussars) Bn. of the West Yorkshire Regiment and, as such, wore the appropriate cavalry cap badge with the appropriate infantry collar-badges. Captain Pease was older than the norm and was 39 years of age when he died, with a new-born son, Ingram, who then just 3 months old. When this grandson grew up, a new war was clearly imminent and, like his own father, he joined the Armed Forces 'for the Duration'. In February 1939, Pilot Officer Ingram Pease of the RAFVR died in uniform, like his own father before him; killed in an accident, whilst training to be aircrew and serving with the 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron, when he flew his Hawker Hind in poor weather, into the summit of Bishop Hill, Kinross. Sir Alfred died a few weeks after this tragedy, and just before the anniversary of the death of his son Christopher. There would be further sacrifice in the following year, when Ingram's cousin Arthur – generally known as Peter – Pease, of the other Pease baronetcy, would be killed, also as an airman, flying a Spitfire in the now re-equipped 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron during the Battle of Britain; Peter is mentioned by Richard Hillary in the famous war memoir The Last Enemy.
The eldest son, Edward Pease (1880–1963), succeeded to the baronetcy and when the 3rd Baronet died, the title passed to his elder son by his third marriage, (Alfred) Vincent Pease (1926–2008), who died without issue. The baronetcy then passed in 2008, to Sir Alfred's youngest son, being the younger son of the third marriage, Joseph Gurney Pease, who became the 5th Baronet and is the current holder of the title.
- "Pease, Alfred Edward (PS876AE)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- Hansard Millbank Systems – Alfred Pease
- Debretts Guide to the House of Commons 1886
- A Wealth of Happiness and Many Bitter Trials. 1992.(Sir) Joseph Gurney Pease. ISBN 1-85072-107-6
- Roosevelt, Theodore, African Game Trails, New York 1910, Charles Scribner's Sons, page 26
- Alfred E. Pease collection, 1918–1964 at library.mcmaster.ca
- Commonwealth War Commission entry for son Christopher
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Sir Alfred Pease
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Sir Frederick George Milner
|Member of Parliament for York
1885 – 1892
With: Sir Frank Lockwood
Sir Frank Lockwood
John George Butcher
Henry Fell Pease
|Member of Parliament for Cleveland
1897 – 1902
|Baronetage of the United Kingdom|
Joseph Whitwell Pease
(of Hutton Lowcross and Pinchinthorpe)